Family, Fun & Homeschooling ~ Featuring Kym from Homeschool Coffee Break

Welcome back to Family, Fun & Homeschooling!

F,F & H finchnwren.com

I’m so excited to introduce you today to my friend Kym, from Homeschool Coffee Break.  She is another fellow Crew member, and has lots of awesome homeschool experience.  As a matter of fact, she also hosts a great linky party called Middle School Monday, which I love to participate in.  (I haven’t been able to get ahead of the curve enough lately to post–but I’m really planning on participating again now that I feel as though I’m getting my head above water, Kym!)   Our families love a lot of the same homeschool subjects—and we share a love of game night.  But—I’ll let Kym tell you more!

Without further ado, here’s Kym!

Kym T family 2

Tell us about your blog. What was the spark of the idea that enabled you to create your blog?

Several years ago, some of the moms in a homeschool message board that I participated in started blogs on the homeschoolblogger platform that The Old Schoolhouse had. I decided to jump on the bandwagon, and I hoped that by writing about our homeschool experience and sharing pictures, my family and friends that live far away could stay up to date. Instead, I’ve made a whole new collection of friends.

Do you have a favorite blogging topic that you return to again and again?

I guess I most often write about our favorite subjects in our homeschool – history/geography, science, and art.

Kym T family 3

Tell us about your family. How did you and your husband meet? And what would you like to share about your child?

My husband and I are both Canadians – I am from Calgary, Alberta and he is from southern Ontario. We met in the middle, at a Bible college in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We lived in Calgary for about five years, then moved to New Jersey for a couple of years, and have been in rural Maryland for the past 18 years. We have four kids. The oldest two have graduated from our homeschool. Harrison went to broadcast school and is now an on-air radio personality, part-time. He and Spencer both work at a restaurant during the week. Landon is in Grade 10. He is aiming to graduate next year, and his career goal is to own or manage a trash company! He is also a cadet officer in Civil Air Patrol. Our youngest is Kennady. She is Grade 8 and enjoys music and art. She studies piano and guitar, and is in a Children’s Chorus.

What made you decide to homeschool?

We met a family in our church that homeschooled their two daughters, and we were very impressed and curious. When our first son was still a baby, we made a huge cross-country move and at my husband’s new job we came in contact with another homeschooling family. By that time, we were already quite sure that God was leading us to educate our children at home, where we could be in control of what they were learning and the worldview it was coming from. We continued to pray and research, and were convinced that home education was the right choice for us. The year our son would have started Kindergarten, we were living in a rural area, and there was no way I was putting him on a school bus there; and we were preparing for another move, which would have been disruptive if he’d been in public school, so we knew we’d made the right decision.

Kym Thorpe family 1

What does a day in your homeschool look like?

Typical days can vary depending on what day of the week it is, but in general it goes something like this. I am up by 6:30 when my hubby leaves for work. I like to have some time to enjoy my coffee quietly and do my Bible reading, and get started on emails and blogging, and whatever else I need to do at the computer. Landon and Kennady are supposed to ready to start school by 9am, but we very often run late because they ignore their alarm clocks and I realize that I need to go wake them! They do most of their schoolwork independently, so I allow them to decide how to manage their time on schoolwork. I work with Kennady on some of her Science and Geography, so we prefer to do those subjects either first thing in the morning, or first after our lunch break. We take our lunch break shortly before noon, and then work on school from about 1pm to 3:30. Instead of requiring a set amount of time on each subject each day, I require them to spend about 5 hours on educational activities on regular school days, which they are supposed to keep track of in the student log books. I do “strongly recommend” to them that they work on Math every day. They are generally pretty good at meeting assignment deadlines.

Tuesdays are a little different from other days because Kennady has music lessons in the morning, and both kids have gym class in the afternoon, and activities in the evening as well. (Choir for Kennady, Civil Air Patrol for Landon) Landon now has a part-time job as well, meaning he works two days a week, so he has to sometimes do some schoolwork on Saturdays or in the evenings to make up for the days he is at work.

I do my best to grade as we go, but in reality I often have to catch up the grading every week or so.

Do you have a favorite “date night” you love to do?

We keep our “dates” really cheap! We do go out to dinner on special occasions, but it’s not a regular thing at all. Our favorite way to do “date night” is to turn an ordinary errand or event into something that just my husband and I do together, like a shopping trip followed by a stop for coffee or ice cream. We also like to go for a walk or a drive, and for a special treat we would go to a sports event.

What are some of your favorite mama-child activities?

Most of my mom-child activities these days are with my daughter. She and I have lots of good talks about music and about books, among other things. We watch movies together, and when she got a Pinterest account awhile ago, we set up several shared boards and I think that is a fun way to get insight into what she finds interesting, inspirational, and funny.

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I find drive time to be so good for being able to have discussions with all my kids. As a family, we have made it a priority to have dinners together, in the dining room where there’s no TV, and I think that has been important in helping us have good conversations with our kids. Sunday lunch is almost always together, and we discuss the morning church service. Everyone in our family enjoys coffee, so on those evenings when we all are home and can share a pot of coffee, there’s another chance to connect.

We also serve in some of the same areas at church. Landon and Kennady are both in the youth group, and Harrison and I are both youth leaders. I am one of the worship leaders at church; my husband plays bass in our worship team; Kennady is regularly a singer in our team; Harrison fills in at drums sometimes; and Spencer and Landon both work regularly with the audio and visual part of the worship service.

Kym T button

Be sure to click over to visit Kym and her lovely blog!  One of her posts that I especially enjoyed lately was her Homeschool Weekly: Take A Break Edition.  It was so encouraging to me to read about how life and homeschool can happen in other families!

Thanks for visiting!

Enjoy!  –Wren

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4 thoughts on “Family, Fun & Homeschooling ~ Featuring Kym from Homeschool Coffee Break

  1. Thanks for featuring me, Wren! This was such a fun interview – and I have an update since I originally answered your questions…. my oldest son has moved away because he got a full-time radio job! Other than that, our lives continue very much the same, although we’re taking a break from most of our schoolwork right now.

    • That is so exciting for your son! I hope he absolutely loves his job.

      Thank you so much, Kym, for your time and interview!

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